Catch the Corflu Wave

What is Corflu?
--Karen Schaffer

Corflu is a small convention (you can see our list of attendees on the Registration page) by, about, and for fanzine fans. Its name is taken from the abbreviation for "Correction Fluid," a now rare substance which is the moral equivalent for mimeos of white-out. If you're not (yet) a fanzine fan, read on -- you may become infected, I mean, intrigued!

What is a fanzine?

Any definition will result in either much disagreement or in the circular logic that "Fanzine are zines published by fans." Starting with the latter statement anyhow, I'll attempt to change that circle into more of a spiral (or perhaps a helix), by defining first fans, then zines. Doing so will probably result in much disagreement.

The fans in this case are science fiction fans; however, the subjects of zine articles often have little to do with SF. Attempts to further define the content results in much disagreement, but I'll do it anyway. There are frequently humorous pieces and wry personal observations, some amount of introspection, and much commentary on events within the fanzine community. Fanzines (in this particular sub-group, let me emphasize) are seldom devoted to a particular subject such as TV shows, films or stars. Fanzines may be written by a single person or may include contributions by others.

(An aside to neos: the accepted abbreviation of science fiction is SF, not sci-fi. Sci-fi, pronounced skiffy, is a term reserved for bad 50's science fiction movies. Sci-fi, pronounced sigh-fie, brands the user as a mundane, not a fan.)

The long tradition of fanzine publishing has accrued many bits of on-going folklore and in-jokes, such as the fhannish 'h', as in 'bheer' and 'ghod' and the establishment of Roscoe as the patron saint of fanzines (that svelte surfer on our main page is Roscoe himself). There's the famous saga of Jophan and the Enchanted Duplicator by Walt Willis. There are runs of fanzines renowned for the quality of their writing, such as Slant, Hyphen, Warhoon, and Grue. There's a whole vocabulary that's been built up, such as 'loc' which stands for 'letter of comment' and which has since eveolved into a verb, as in "I'll loc your fanzine Real Soon Now, honest."

Most fanzines, of course, were and are published on paper, but a few have made the daring leap to the web world. Take a look, for instance, at Gary Mattingly's SKUG and Dave Langford's Ansible. Check out the ever-growing list of historical fanzines being put on line by Joe Siclari too.

Disagreements with any of the above information may be sent to me at webmaster . Hey, if I get enough entertaining locs, I may even publish them here.

So then, what is Corflu?

Getting back to the convention: Corflu is not a typical science fiction convention. Perhaps it's easiest to explain in terms of what we have and do not have.

What Corflu has: What Corflu does not have:
  • We have one track of programming, on Saturday.
  • We have lots of conversations in our nearly 24-hour consuite.
  • We schedule local interest trips before and after the convention
  • We publish a fanthology, a collection of great articles from recent fanzines.
  • We have a guest of honor -- picked at random from the attendees!
  • We have a banquet on Sunday where the aforementioned guest of honor makes a speech.
  • We have a TAFF/DUFF auction (TAFF=Trans-Atlantic Fan Fun, DUFF=Down Under Fan Fund)
  • We give out the FAAn (Fan Activity Achievement) awards.
  • We elect the past president of FWA (Fanzine Writers of America). Yes, that's right, the past president; there is no current president.
  • An art show
  • A dealers room
  • A masquerade
  • Films/video
  • Multi-track programming
  • Filking
  • Gaming

Intrigued? Like what you read in the on-line fanzines? Want to find more? Want to write for one? Want pub your own ish?!? Then come join us!

Karen Schaffer may be reached at webmaster .

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